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SAVONIUS ROTOR CONSTRUCTION
Vertical Axis Wind Machines From Oil Drums
by Jozef A. Kozlowski
INTRODUCTION
VITA is pleased to make available the work of Jozef A. Kozlowski, who has contributed his
expertise in the areas of water, wind and methane power generation to technical problems
worldwide through VITA for almost 10 years. Kozlowski, who holds an advanced degree in
engineering, specializes in onsite consultations and project work relating to solving problems in
developing countries.
Jozef Kozlowski has built two Savonius rotors one in Wales and the other in rural Zambia.This
manual details the construction of these machines. Both VITA and the author offer this manual
with the hope that it first puts the rotors in a perspective which allows potential builders to judge
the applicability of such machines for meeting their needs and then provides effective guidelines
for constructing each.
The S-rotor, as it is more popularly known, is easy to construct.
For this reason and others (not the least of which is that an S-rotor can be built for relatively
small expense), people build rotors before they have investigated their own needs fully and/or
have weighed these against the rotor's somewhat limited potential. The rotor will not meet all
needs, and careful consideration of all factors and possibilities is essential for success.
For those who decide to build rotors, step-by-step construction details are provided.The manual
includes a two-stage rotor for pumping water and a three-stage rotor designed to charge
automobile batteries (the latter can be constructed using only hand tools).
Both rotors depend upon use of discarded oil drums.
To provide additional information and guidance to the potential S-rotor builder, the author has
reviewed a number of articles and books on the subject. The reviews, which are included as an
appendix to this manual, are entirely an expression of the author's findings and opinions.
September, 1977
The Savonius rotor also called the S-rotor is a vertical-shaft wind machine invented by
Sigurd J. Savonius of Finland some fifty years ago.
The rotor is relatively easy to construct, especially if made from standard 45 Imperial gallon (55
US gallon) oil drums which are generally available throughout the world, at a nominal cost for
second-hand drums.